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Maria Bustamante: Stripper by Day, Alleged Human Smuggler by Night

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The stereotypical stripper answer for why she or he's a professional stripper is usually that they just need the money, but what does someone do if they're already a stripper and need more money?

For Tucson resident and stripper Maria Bustamante, that answer is human smuggling, allegedly.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Bustamante was stopped last week while she was rolling down Interstate 10 in her Oldsmobile minivan, after allegedly committing several traffic violations.

Bustamante, 33, had six guys in her minivan whom she said she was driving from Phoenix to Tucson, but things didn't go too well for Bustamante after she couldn't come up with the names of the men in her vehicle for the questioning deputy.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the deputy asked the men if they were from the U.S. of A., and after they all responded "no," they all fessed up to paying -- or intending to pay -- Bustamante for the ride.

PCSO says all six men admitted to being in the country illegally, and several of them said they'd been deported from the United States before -- one said he'd been deported five times before.

Bustamante said she works as a stripper at a Tucson strip joint, and after she dropped off her new pals in Tucson, she planned on driving to Texas to see the father of her children, who's currently in jail in the Lone Star State.

PCSO says Bustamante admitted she knew the men were in the country illegally, and she was booked into jail on six counts of human smuggling.


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